Application Shortcuts Every Web Professional Should Know

Eli Fatsi, Former Development Director

Article Category: #Process

Posted on

Gmail, Slack, and Github. Keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow.

This is a follow up post to my Keyboard Shortcuts Every Web Professional Should Know post. While it received critical acclaim from friends and non-friends alike, it was just the tip of the iceberg as far as productivity goes, and this post should bring you even closer to the nirvana of a speedy workflow.

This post will highlight useful keyboard shortcuts available in three applications I find myself using the most: Gmail, Slack, and Github. Hopefully you find them helpful too!


There are a huge number of shortcuts for the Gmail application, you can find all of them (and customize them!) in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab within the Settings. I'm going to cover the ones I use most here.

Composing New Email


Pressing c opens up a fresh new email for composure, and when you're all done typing things, pressing cmd-Enter will send the email.

Going Back to Inbox


No matter where you are, g followed by i will bring you back to your inbox.

Bonus: Pressing gi while you're already looking at your inbox will refresh your inbox for any new messages. gl will assist in navigating to other Labels.

Navigating your Inbox


You'll notice a little blue bar on the left of your emails, you can move this down and up with the j and k keys, then press Enter to open up an email. These keys even work when you're reading an email to navigate to the previous or next email.

Selecting Emails for Batch Action


When looking at a list of emails, tapping x will check it's checkbox, combining this with j or k is a great way to queue up a bunch of emails for mass management (delete, move to label, mark as read).

Bonus: There are more! *a (shift-8 followed by a) will select all, *u will select all that are unread.

Batch Actions

You can perform these actions on selected emails:

  • Delete: #
  • Archive: e
  • Move to Label: v
  • Mark as Read: shift-I
  • Mark as Unread: shift-U

Individual Actions

While an individual email is open, you can perform all of the above actions on the email, as well as a couple more:

  • Reply: r
  • Reply All: a
  • Forward: f

Quick Search


Keyboard Shortcuts Help



Like Gmail, there are a good number of keyboard shortcuts to speed around Slack. I'll cover the ones here that I find myself using the most.

Quick Switcher

cmd-t OR cmd-k

This pulls up a dialog for navigating to any Channel or DM by it's name. So so useful.

Bonus: Throw a shift in there to pull up a dialog to start a new group DM session.

Back / Forward

cmd-[/] OR cmd-alt-left/right

Slack maintains a history of what Channels and DMs you've looked at. Often it's easier to jump back or forward in that history to find a thread than finding it by name again and again and again.

Quick Search


Emoji Reactions


Although really, I think we could all use a little less emoji in our life.



Fun fact - this keyboard shortcut works in a vast majority of Mac applications.

Side panel


For whatever you need this for.

Keyboard Shortcuts Help



These shortcuts are all available when viewing any part of a Github Repository:

  • Change Branch: w
  • Navigate to File: t
  • Go to Issues: gi
  • Go to Pull Requests: gp
  • Go to Code (back to repo's root page): gc
  • Keyboard Shortcuts Help: ?

When viewing a specific file:

  • Jump to Line: l
  • Expand URL to its canonical form: y

When viewing a specific commit:

  • Navigate to it's parent commit: p

Again, these are just the top few that I use most commonly. Each application has it's own help view that lists all of the shortcuts available, be sure to check out the list if you're looking for more!

Did I miss anything vital? Did I just improve your life dramatically? Let me know in the comments below.

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